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Book Review: The Sign of Four, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

There are few books I love to re-read when I feel l’m in a reader’s block, and new books don’t seem interesting. One of the series that falls into this category is the Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The Sign of Four is the second book that features the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. The novel begins with Sherlock Holmes frustrated without any cases at hand. His solution to the boredom doesn’t sit well with Dr. Watson, who gives him a small challenge. Just as they are done with that, a prospective client enters the story. Mary Morstan appeals to both men. Her beauty catches the eye of Dr. Watson, and her little predicament is interesting to Holmes. After the disappearance of her father, Mary Morstan found an ad in the paper asking for her address. After she published it in the paper, she received a cardboard box with a pearl inside. This repeated for five more years. These events led her to the current day, when she got a letter asking her to be at a place, stating that she was a wronged woman and will get justice. Holmes and Watson accompany her to her destination, and further, till the strange case takes a twist and becomes a murder mystery.

Of the four full length novels to feature the consulting detective, this one is my second favorite. I like how the case develops, the back story to the mystery, the romance involved with Mary and Watson and the observation and deduction as well. The part with Toby got a smile as well. The action moves from chapter to chapter, winding down in a chase sequence. The ending sub-story of Small, while very important to the story itself, didn’t feel very compelling or interesting to me. It slowed down the novel.

Like I said earlier, Sherlock Holmes is one series I can read over and over again. It’s crime fiction done right, in my opinion. Something to savor.

A score of 9 out of 10
A score of 9 out of 10
Book Details
Title: The Sign of Four Series: Sherlock Holmes #2
Author(s): Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Genre: Crime Fiction
ISBN/ASIN: B0082XO4JU Publisher: N/a

No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.

(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
29th December 2016)



Poetry and writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

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